NC State senior receiver Owen Spencer leads the Pack with 20 catches for 356 yards through five games, but he has yet to catch a touchdown. The last two years, Spencer has become well-known for being one of the top vertical threats in the country.
He set an ACC record averaging 22.3 yards per catch in 2008 only to break by averaging 25.5 yards per haul last year. NC State tried hard to get Spencer the ball on several occasions downfield last Saturday against Virginia Tech.
"When you have receivers like we do in our offense and you have a defense playing press man on you, those are shots you have to take," Spencer noted. "When we see that type of defense, you have to attack it and hopefully come up with good results.
"I love it. I love man to man. I love it."
Spencer leads what is a deep and talented receiving corps. Seven players, including five receivers, have caught at least one touchdown pass this season. So while teams may have done a decent job limiting the deep passes to Spencer, they are still having a hard time shutting down NC State's passing attack.
"When you have players with certain talents, teams try to minimize that," Spencer said. "They have done a good job eliminating the deep ball, some teams, but when you have that, you have weapons other than myself, Jarvis Williams and George Bryan that can make the same type of plays we make. It's not a selfish thing because it's a team game. We're just spreading the wealth around here, and we've gotten good results so far."
Spencer acknowledged that last Saturday's 41-30 loss to the Hokies at home was tough, but he's confident that NC State will sufficiently move on and maintain their focus on the task at hand, a Saturday showdown with Boston College.
"It's hard," Spencer said. "In the back of our mind we're still thinking about [Virginia Tech], about the feeling we had losing coming in playing an undefeated season. We were riding high and we felt we were a good enough team, and it's tough when you take a loss like that. You have to put it behind us because it's a long season ahead. Right now we're just focused on Boston College. It's a conference game, and we don't want to feel that same feeling again."
It should not be too hard for State though to zone in on the Boston College game. After all the Eagles have won three straight against NC State, including a 52-20 shellacking last season at Chestnut Hill.
"A lot of motivation because it's a conference game, but also for me and as far as other seniors on the team, we've never beaten them," Spencer said. "It's a big game. It'll be a huge win for us if we beat them in our last time playing us."
Boston College may have struggled thus far this season offensively, but they are still potent on defense. Spencer though thinks the Pack's offense should have some familiarity with the Eagles' schemes.
"It's basically the same defense that we have played against," Spencer said. "The crossover from the coaching staffs, how they passed on their defense to us. We play against it everyday. We know the holes, but we have to go out and execute the offense."